Finding The Right Patent Attorney

In today’s cut-throat marketplace, it is critically important to protect your invention. That usually means filing a patent application as soon as possible – and under the current patent law – before your competitors file to patent your invention. Finding the right patent attorney to help is just as important.

The patent application process is complicated. It can be confusing and frustrating for inventors to navigate the Patent Office requirements. In fact, the U.S. Patent Office itself even tells inventors not to attempt the complex process of filing a patent application on their own. The Patent Office even says “While a patent may be obtained in many cases by persons not skilled in this work, there would be no assurance that the patent obtained would adequately protect the particular invention.”

Instead, it is important to work with a qualified patent attorney. Otherwise, you could lose important legal rights to your invention.

If you have an invention, it’s time to talk to a patent attorney right away!

Need for a patent attorney. . .

Some inventors simply do not have the money to hire a patent attorney and will attempt to file their own patent application. The Do-It-Yourself patent application is almost always a bad idea. Mistakes are common. At best, the do-it-yourself filer ends up hiring a patent attorney to correct the mistake. This often costs more than it would have cost to hire a patent attorney from the start. At worst, it is too late to correct the mistake. The inventor loses some or all rights to patent their invention. Learn about one common mistake in our patent attorney video.

What are your options when it comes to hiring a patent attorney?

1)  Hire a large general practice law firm with a patent attorney on staff.

Most large corporations and some well-financed start-ups can afford to hire a large law firm. Patent attorneys at big law firms may charge $500/hour or more. Add to this that big law firms typically charge not only for their attorneys, but also for their paralegals, administrators, etc. And some big law firms charge for overhead (copies, phone calls, mailings). It adds up fast, and you can quickly be staring at a legal bill for tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, most inventors and small businesses cannot afford to hire a big general practice law firm.

2)  Work with a medium-size patent law firm.

Medium-size patent law firms may charge less than a big general practice law firm. But these law firms still typically have one or more senior attorney who oversees a staff of entry-level attorneys, patent agents, draftsman, and paralegals. In addition to being charged for everyone’s time on a project, it is often difficult to speak with the senior attorney who is busy coordinating other projects. When you do get to speak with the senior attorney, they often charge an hourly rate approaching that of a big law firm.

3)  Work directly with the right patent attorney.

A small patent law firm or individual patent attorney typically charges much less than most big law firms, and often charges less than senior-level attorneys at medium-size patent law firms. In addition, you can work directly with the patent attorney handling your case. When you have a question about your invention, your patent attorney will have a deeper understanding of your invention and your business goals, and therefore will be in the best position to give you sound advice.

What to expect from the right patent attorney.

Perhaps you have never worked with an attorney before. Even if you have, working with a patent attorney is different than working with other types of attorneys (e.g., personal injury, divorce, criminal law attorneys). Since you have probably never worked with a patent attorney before, here is a brief overview of what you should expect from an experienced patent attorney:

·       Professional insight from someone who understands the patent process. Filing a patent application is the first step in protecting your invention. Make sure to do it right.

·       Someone who understands your invention, including its strengths, differentiators, and opportunities to commercialize as a product.

·       Someone who can work collaboratively with your team.

·       Someone who takes an interest in your invention – but not an ownership interest. Compensate your patent attorney for providing services. But this should not include any compensation from the success of your invention.

Benefits of working with Trenner Law Firm. . .

·       An up-front total cost quote for what it will cost for your project. For example, a patent law firm should have a standard cost for a patent search and to prepare/file a provisional patent application.

o   At Trenner Law Firm, we offer all our services on a flat-fee basis.

·       There should be no hidden fees. If you are talking to other attorneys, be sure to ask if all costs are included. Some law firms will charge extra for their paralegal’s time on a project, phone calls to answer your questions, email communications with the client (that’s you!), etc.

o   At Trenner Law Firm, there are no hidden fees. We do not charge extra for any of the above.

·       Work directly with the patent attorney you hire.

o   At Trenner Law Firm you won’t be handed off to a staff attorney or patent agent.

·       The right patent attorney will answer all of your questions, quickly, and give you all of your options so that you can make informed decisions.

o   Trenner Law Firm responds to client inquiries by phone or email as quickly as possible. It is our policy to try and respond within one business day, and often we will get back to you the same day.

Making the decision to invest a large amount of time and money to protect your invention so that you can take it to market is challenging. But hiring the right patent attorney doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

If you would like to learn more about having a patent attorney on your side, give us a call at (720) 221-3708, or Email Us. Or start today by visiting our online patent law firm.

Online Patent Law Firm | Licensed Colorado Patent Attorney

Online Patent Law Firm

Trenner Law Firm offers an online patent law firm option. The process is simple, and you get the same great service we provide to all of our clients. Click here to apply for our online patent law firm.

Let’s look at how you might benefit from our online patent law firm.

What are your options for working with a Patent Attorney?

Work with an “old fashioned” brick-and-mortar law firm.

In the days before the Internet became a household utility, you had to go to the attorney’s office whenever you needed legal help. Most attorneys are slow to change, and so most law firms still exist in their brick-and-mortar format. So if you still want to go visit an attorney at their office, there are plenty of options.

Keep in mind, however, that working with the “old fashioned” brick-and-mortar law firm likely means that you have to go there every time they need to meet with you. And again when they need to go over something with you. And again when they need you to sign papers.

Work with a Discount Legal Services Provider.

Discount legal service providers are becoming more commonplace. You’ve probably seen the late-night commercials for discount legal service providers. Or the so-called “Invention Promotion” companies. It’s important to keep in mind that only a registered patent agent or patent attorney can file a patent application on your behalf. Many discount legal service providers and Invention Promotion companies farm out their legal work. Often to low-cost patent agents and low-cost patent attorneys. Sometimes you don’t even know who you are working with.

Enough said. Just beware. The US Patent Office warns inventors about scams on their website.

Work directly with a patent attorney through an online patent law firm.

A few law firms have advanced into the 21st Century, and now offer an online patent law firm option. Trenner Law Firm is a pioneer in the online patent law firm. We started an online patent law firm option in 2004 when we first opened our doors. We’ve evolved our systems and processes. Today we use leading edge and trusted technologies to provide a world-class online law firm experience.

In addition to 24 hour – 7 days a week access to our online law firm, clients also get free phone and email support for any project we are handling.

And if a meeting is required, Mark Trenner is available on a limited basis to meet in person with clients in Denver West (Golden – Lakewood) in Colorado. Conference rooms are provided through Office Evolution on an as-needed basis. Trenner Law Firm does not maintain a physical office here — no drop-ins, please.

Why work with an online Patent Attorney?

Don’t you hate having to schedule an appointment? It seems like you schedule the appointment and put it on your calendar. Then a few days or a week or two later it pops up. Forgot about that one, didn’t you. Didn’t really need another appointment this week. So you either call and reschedule the appointment, or you bite the bullet and make the appointment. And why are attorney offices always downtown in the big city? Now you have to drive downtown. Never mind that you have to leave an hour before your appointment in case there is traffic. And still leave enough time to find parking. Oops, forgot that you have to pay for parking downtown.

What a hassle!

Wouldn’t it be better if you could handle everything from the comfort of your own home or your office? On your schedule – day or night. Whatever works best for you.

You can, if you work with an online patent attorney.

Fortunately, Trenner Law Firm offers an online law firm option. We know what it’s like to have a hectic schedule. You certainly don’t need any more appointments on your calendar. And Trenner Law Firm has been delivering quality legal services to our clients now for over 10 years. The process is simple. And you will get the same great customer service that we provide to all of our clients.

What you can expect from an online Patent Law Firm.

Perhaps you have never worked with an attorney before. Even if you have, working with an attorney through an online patent law firm is different. Since you have probably never used an online patent law firm before, here is a brief overview of what you should expect:

·       The same level of professionalism and legal advice you would expect from a traditional attorney office (the “old fashioned” brick-and-mortar law firm).

·       Solid legal advice and quality representation during the entire patent process – from patent search to filing a patent application to patent issuance.

·       Timely updates on the progress of your patent application and any correspondence from the US Patent Office.

·       Access to your patent attorney – whether by phone, video conference, or email.

Benefits of the online Patent Law Firm Option

·       The same level of professionalism, legal advice, and customer service you would expect from a traditional attorney office (the “old fashioned” brick-and-mortar law firm).

·       Learn about your options when it comes to protecting your invention – on your schedule – from the comfort of your home or office.

·       Start a project with your attorney, review and sign paperwork, and get electronic copies of your file – at any time – all without having to schedule an appointment.

Scheduling appointments and attending meetings is time consuming. Fortunately, you have the option to work with a patent attorney  on your own terms – with our online patent law firm.

If you would like to learn more about working with a patent attorney through our online patent law firm option, give us a call at (720) 221-3708. Or start today by visiting our online patent law firm.

In The News – Trenner Law Article in ColoradoBiz Magazine

Trenner Law Firm often receives calls from business owners looking to value their business. Many callers are surprised to learn that some intellectual property can be protected at little to no cost – and add value to the business. P{rotecting other types of intellectual property can be more costly, but is an important investment in the company.

When valuing a company, experts will look generally at tangible assets and intangible assets.

Tangible assets are those things you can touch and see. For example, office equipment, inventory (products), and even buildings, vehicles, forklifts, etc. are all considered tangible assets.

Intangible assets are those things which you cannot touch, such as intellectual property. Intellectual property is a broad term encompassing patents and even patent applications (for inventions and innovations), trademarks (for word marks, taglines, and logos), copyrights (for original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works), and trade secrets.

To add value to your business, it is important to identify all intellectual property belonging to the business. It is also important to protect that intellectual property.

Read more in Mark Trenner’s article titled “Top four ways to add value to your business – What every biz owner needs to know pre-valuation” which appeared in ColoraodBiz Magazine.

If you are business owner, schedule a time with Mark Trenner to meet at your place of business and evaluate potentially overlooked intellectual property.

We can also help you put a plan of action into place to:

  1. Itemize all current intellectual property;
  2. Identify sources of potential intellectual property;
  3. Encourage employees to submit new intellectual property to the company for evaluation;
  4. Monitor for potential infringement of your intellectual property;
  5. Schedule regular assessments of your intellectual property; and
  6. Help register any patents, copyrights, and trademarks to protect your intellectual property.

Taking action early can help prevent a business from being undervalued. Your action may also prevent competitors from steeling what rightfully belongs to your business.

Inventor of “Operation Game” cannot pay for his own operation

As a patent attorney, I am often asked at parties and when meeting with inventors – will this invention make me rich?

Of course, that’s a loaded question. What the inventor is actually seeking is validation of their ideas. They may think because I am a patent attorney that I see a lot of successful inventors. So if I like the idea, then maybe it will mean their idea is a winner and they will get rich. But there is so much more to getting rich than simply having an idea.

Having an Idea does not mean you will make a lot of money.

Most people have ideas every day. Some ideas may be good ideas, others not so much. Do you remember the last time you thought ‘if they would just add another lane to this road, the traffic wouldn’t be so bad’. That idea isn’t going to make you rich. Thinking back to that idea you had at the family barbecue this summer – ‘if they would only plant more trees at this park, then it wouldn’t be so hot’. That idea isn’t going to make you rich either.

Okay, so you agree that just Having an Idea won’t make you rich.

But this is more than idea – this is an Invention! Certainly if I invent something, it will make me rich. Right?


But my Invention is more than just an Idea.

Issued Patent for an Invention
Issued Patent for an Invention

People are constantly making inventions. In fact, the US Patent Office recently issued Patent Number 8,875,000. That’s nearly 9 million patents issued. That’s not even counting the millions of patent applications that have been filed, but were never allowed to issue. And no, the inventors did not all become wealthy simply by having a patent issue.

Inventors are not all rich.

To the contrary, I just read an interesting article on CNBC the other day about the inventor of the Operation game, John Spinello. Most of us grew up playing this game, or at least have seen or heard of this game. It’s a simple game with an illustration of a person laying on a doctor’s operating table. The object of the game is to use tweezers to remove various plastic objects from the patient, such as his funny bone. If the metal tweezers hit the edge while trying to remove the plastic object, then the object has to stay in the patient. The player to remove the most objects from the patient wins. Turns out that the inventor of this game, John Spinello, was a university student when he came up with the game. He sold the rights to the game to the big game company, Milton Bradley (and later, Hasbro acquired the rights) for $500. Of course, the game sold millions and made millions of dollars for the game companies. But the inventor did not see any of this money beyond the initial $500 he was paid.

What’s the Lesson?

While having a good idea is a start, it takes more than just having an idea to turn it into profit. Take the Operation game example above. The inventor sold the idea for a mere $500. The game made millions. But the game made money because a large gaming company was able to take the idea and market it. I’m not saying that only big companies can make money from inventions. But I am saying that it is going to take more than just having an idea to turn that into big money.

The Work of a Patent Attorney

The Work of a Patent Attorney

If you’ve come up with a compelling idea for a product or an invention, it pays to start thinking about patenting it to protect it right away. Without a patent in place, you risk your idea being stolen and monetised without your permission – and you should not expect any legal comeback. Many people do find the cost involved with patenting to be somewhat prohibitive. However, it does not have to be this way, and there are usually funding channels available to you that will help you to protect your idea.

Professional Assistance

A patent attorney can provide you with help, support and detailed, accurate advice on patenting your idea. When a patent is in place, the US government allows you to exclusively manufacture and licence your product within the United States. The body in charge of patents in the US is known as the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and this is the office that not only issues patents but maintains them too. Seeking help from a patent attorney really can help you to deal with patenting issues robustly and can help you to ensure that mistakes are not made when it comes to securing the ownership rights of an invention.

Is Your Idea Original?

Many would-be inventors have in the past come up with what they thought were completely original ideas, only to find that the fundamentals of their idea had already been patented. In order to find out whether an idea is unique to you or not, you can check for existing patents through various channels such as the USPTO website. If you go ahead with applying for a patent only to find that your idea is not original you could find yourself out of pocket, having wasted excessive time and money on attempting to secure the rights to something only to find yourself hitting a dead end.

Support during Product Development

Whilst you are free to start applying for a standard patent right away, many people have found it more beneficial to acquire a provisional patent. A provisional patent is far less expensive, and can protect your idea for a lengthy period of time whilst it is still in development. This can be extremely useful if you are working on your idea in secret but still wish to enjoy the extra protection that a provisional version of a patent will bring to the table. The application process for a provisional is also notably less complex than it is for a full patent.

Protection from Patent Infringement

In both the US and the UK, you should also ensure that the description of your product, idea or invention is as detailed as possible to ensure that those issuing patents can offer better protection for it. The more detailed your patent application is, the easier patent will be to enforce. Excellent communication between the patent examiner and the inventor can be crucial, which is why so many people in the UK choose to enlist the services of a patent attorney in London to assist them when it comes to UK law.

Patent Portfolio Q & A – Part 4 of 4

Colorado Patent Lawyer Mark Trenner answers questions about your Patent Portfolio.

Link to Video: What is a patent portfolio?

Patent Attorney: Again, there is no sure-fire way to know that a patent can be enforced. But as the article notes, one important consideration is whether infringement can be readily detected. For example, if the patent covers a behind-the-scenes process, enforcing the patent will be more difficult than a patent for a feature that is readily observable.

Interviewer: Good points. What next?

Patent Attorney: The article concludes by suggesting the business owner formulate a strategy for developing their patent portfolio. For example, stronger invention disclosures may warrant higher budgets for preparing and prosecuting patent applications. Then of course, work with an experienced patent attorney that can consider all of this information when preparing the patent application, develop a comprehensive disclosure and claim sets. Then after the initial filing, follow-up with a continuing patent application strategy to capture different embodiments and future advancements to the product technology.

Interviewer: Thank you, I think that’s all we have time for today. For more information, be sure to visit Trenner Law Firm’s website at and Mark Trenner’s blog over at


Patent Portfolio Q & A – Part 3 of 4

Patent Attorney, Colorado‘s Mark Trenner answers questions about your Patent Portfolio.

Link to Video: What is a patent portfolio?

Interviewer: Does the article recommend only filing patent applications for important inventions?Patent Attorney

Patent Attorney: No, actually the article correctly points out that market conditions can change, as can the products. Not filing a patent application for an invention just because the invention is not yet embodied in a product may lack foresight. And only filing a single patent application for a product and not following up with improvements can be equally short-sighted.

Interviewer: What does the article recommend companies do then to build a patent portfolio?

Patent Attorney: The article suggests asking the right questions to fully evaluate each invention. Evaluate invention disclosures from different perspectives, for example in light of the future products and the business goals of the company. Evaluate invention disclosures from a marketplace perspective, independent of the company, for example from a competitor’s view. Evaluate the strength of the patent – ask whether a strong patent will issue, and can the patent be enforced.

Interviewer: How do you know if the patent office will issue a patent for an invention?

Patent Attorney: There is no sure-fire way to know that the patent office will issue a patent, but a good technique is to start with a prior art search to determine the current state of the art and how that applies to the field of the invention. If the invention is in a crowded space, with a lot of prior art, then chances of success in the patent office are lower, and it may not even be worth pursuing a patent application for a particular invention.

For Part 4, see Patent Portfolio Q & A – Part 4 of 4


Patent Portfolio Q & A – Part 2 of 4

Patent Lawyer, Denver‘s Mark Trenner answers questions about your Patent Portfolio.

Link to Video: What is a patent portfolio?

Interviewer: How can an intellectual property portfolio be a source of revenue?patent lawyer

Patent Attorney: By licensing or even selling the rights under the patents, trademarks, copyrights, and even trade secrets to others to use.

Interviewer: The article goes on to say that not all portfolios are created equal. What do they mean?

Patent Attorney: A collection of assets is only as valuable as the assets themselves. If the patents, or trademarks, or other types of intellectual property have no value, then the portfolio will not have much, if any, value either.

Interviewer: So how do you strategically develop an intellectual property portfolio?

Patent Attorney: The article has some good suggestions. First, the article says that filing a patent application for every invention disclosure submitted by a company’s employees does not properly value the underlying technology. Some technology will have more value, and thus be more important to protect with one or maybe even more patent, while other technology may have little, or even no value. Spending money to protect inventions with little value wastes valuable resources that could be better spent protecting the more important technology – or better developing the intellectual property portfolio – perhaps by filing trademarks, copyrights, and investing in trade secrets.

For Part 3, see Patent Portfolio Q & A – Part 3 of 4


Patent Portfolio Q & A – Part 1 of 4

Denver Patent Attorney Mark Trenner answers questions about your Patent Portfolio.Patent Attorney

Link to Video Video: What is a patent portfolio?

Introduction: We are here in Colorado to interview Denver-area patent attorney Mark Trenner. Mark has been practicing as a patent attorney for almost 14 years; the past 9 years at Trenner Law Firm. While his practice focuses primarily on helping small businesses protect their inventions with patents, Trenner Law Firm assists clients build out all aspects of their intellectual property portfolio, including copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.

Interviewer: Bloomberg recently published an article titled “Strategies for developing patent portfolios.” Please tell our viewers what is a patent portfolio?

Patent Attorney: I prefer to think more in terms of an intellectual property portfolio. And I often counsel my clients about the importance of an intellectual property portfolio with my business clients, as well as discussing these as various business groups. Let’s start by defining intellectual property. Intellectual property is the umbrella term for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. And of course, a “portfolio” is simply a collection of these assets.

Interviewer: And why is a patent portfolio – or an intellectual property portfolio – important?

Patent Attorney: As the article discusses, intellectual property portfolios provide value to a company in several ways. These assets protect a company’s products from others who might infringe. These assets can also be used as defensive tools, by providing leverage in negotiations. An intellectual property portfolio can also be an important source of revenue.

Patent Portfolio Q & A – Part 2 of 4


Patent Asset and Insurance Q & A – Part 3 of 4

Colorado Patent Lawyer Mark Trenner answers questions about “Patent Protection as Investment and Insurance.”

Watch Entire Interview at Once Here: Patents as Investment and Insurance Video

Interviewer: Right, I’d rather spend invest my money in new designs.patent lawyer

Patent Attorney: And that’s what a lot of small businesses say. Then suddenly the business receives a cease and desist letter from an attorney representing one of their competitors. The letter from the attorney alleges that the company’s most recent handbag design infringes a design patent that has just issued to their competitor.

Interviewer: What does the business being accused of patent infringement do in a case like this?

Patent Attorney: The first thing that business should do is seek the advice of a patent attorney, preferably an attorney having litigation experience. After evaluating the alleged infringing handbag in view of the issued design patent to determine whether the other party has a valid claim, the patent attorney is going to ask the business owner whether they have any of their own patents.

Interviewer: Why does it matter if the business has their own patent if they are being accused of patent infringement?

Patent Attorney: Well if they do, there is a possibility that the other company is infringing as well.

For Part 4, please follow this link: Patent Asset and Insurance Q & A – Part 4 of 4